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Beefy No-Noodle Lasagna

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I have to tell you I am reluctant to have this discussion. In the four years I’ve worked to develop Plan Z, I have never brought up the subject of bread and baked goods. I felt like if I ignored the subject it would not come up. Instead, I spent a lot of time laying down the framework for the fact that you don’t need bread, donuts or cupcakes in your life. Or any of the rest of it. And it’s true. You can get used to not eating it.

But I know the subject of bread comes up in your home and your offices. It’s like the elephant in the room that will make you feel like an elephant if you eat too much of it.

So before we embark on the subject of bread (and the good versus the evil things about it) I want to define what bread is. If I hammer home anything today this is all I want you to know. Bread is dessert and it has to be treated like a treat.

It’s dessert. Let’s look at the chemistry...

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Beefy No Noodle Lasagna

This is a hearty and satisfying casserole for those who would love a traditional lasagna but know the noodles are not smart. Our favorite foods don’t have to make us gain weight.

Servings: Serves 6

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1 lb of ground beef
2 Tbl of Italian seasoning
12 oz of spaghetti sauce (Find one with no sugar. Newman’s Own brand is one. Otherwise just read the labels. You’ll find one. Most jars are slightly bigger than 12 oz so you might have some leftover.
8 oz of ricotta cheese (buy full fat ricotta)
3 cups of washed, baby spinach
1 cup of fresh mushrooms, sliced or chopped. You choose.
2 cups of shredded mozzarella
Fresh basil (optional)


In a large saute pan, spray in some olive oil spray and add your ground beef. Saute on medium, breaking it up constantly so it gets to a sauce consistency. You can leave in some chunks or make it smoother. Your choice. Add your Italian seasoning and stir.

Take out your 9-by-9-inch oven-proof pan. Put a quarter-cup of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom. The layer on your ground beef mixture. Layer on the baby spinach next. It gives it a transition sort of like laying in pasta. Gently spread your layer of ricotta on top of the spinach. Scatter on your mushrooms.

Top this with a layer of spaghetti sauce. Cover the whole dish end to end. Then top with mozzarella.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Then turn on the broiler and brown the top. Keep and eye on it so it gets lightly browned but not blackened. Let sit on the stove for about 10 minutes before you slice it. This helps it settle and that way you won’t burn your mouth when you go to eat it.

When I serve this I scatter some minced, fresh basil over the top.



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